When I was a child, I loved reading the tales of C.S. Lewis, Tolkien, E. Nesbit, and the other great myth-writers. I imagined how incredible it would be to discover a magical world like Lucy, or be the participants in a great battle like the three children from Wet Magic.
Well, let me tell you of the day I did indeed find a tear in the great curtain that separates our world from the Magic world. You may not believe me, but that is on your account, not mine. But I swear to the truth of this tale.
Nesbit says in one of her stories from the Book of Beasts that the only sensible way for magic to be real is to believe in it as hard as you can. After I read this, I thought to myself, what if? Then I told myself, Why not? So I closed my eyes. And believed.
I hardly dared to think that I was feeling slightly different than I was but a moment before. Was that the warmth of sun? Was that a breath of air? I believed that they were, and they were indeed. I finally gathered the courage to open my eyes. On the count of three, I saw, and I was amazed!
I was seated on this grassy knoll of sorts. The grass itself was sharp to the eyes as little silver blades, but soft to the touch as lambs-ears. Everything jumped out at my senses with startling clarity; I fancied that I could smell an ocean, and I saw one in the distance. It did not have that hazy, dullness that one peers through from a mountain top to a distant sea. It may as well have been a stone’s throw away from where I sat.
As I looked around, I noticed the bright, rolling hills, with rough, harsh-looking crags peering out beneath the heather and bushes as though they were castle walls concealed by colourful tapestries. There were trees above me, whose canopies stretched into the sky. Their leaves were translucently green, and their branches perfectly formed. Birds, the type of which I had never seen, but only in my mind’s eye, flitted betwixt the stabbing shafts of sunlight. Amongst them flew tiny dragonlets, who breathed crystal fires.
I could hardly tear my attention away from this wonderful sight, but I knew I must. I stood up, and walked in the direction of the ocean. Within moments, I had reached a massive, tumbling stream. Further up, I noticed a huge waterfall cascading over one of those crags, splashing, laughing, giggling, breaking into thousands of shards of liquid diamond, reflecting the bright sun’s eye. The river ran through the whole of the heath and wood to the sea. As I continued alongside it, I saw that it went over the edge of cliffs, higher than anything of our world.
I kept walking, and found that I did not fall, even beyond the reach of those green cliffs. I was flying!
I assure you, not even the seemingly weightless and effortless flight of a glider could compare to the complete perfection of flying by one’s self. No uncomfortable seat, nor tiny window, shielded me from the sky’s glory. Nothing but the wind whistling past my body. It is almost impossible to picture a person flying without the aid of an aeroplane without imagining something looking exceedingly ridiculous. But when one is flying, one does not think of such things.
The glory of everything; the sun, the sky, the sea, all seemingly seamless, threaded and attached together with the golden sands beneath the cliffs and the green glades above between the crags and heather.
I wished to explore more on land, so I alighted on the edge of the glade from which I had emerged but moments before. All of a sudden, piercing the movement of quiet sounds, I heard a roar, a metallic clash, a startlingly terrible and awe-inspiring sound of metal-on-metal, and the sounds of a thousand legions of thousands of soldiers.
I turned to see a dragon.
To be continued on the morrow